It’s All In The Mind 12″ – Ethereal Sound

Anton Zap is a producer and DJ who should need no introduction, but his understated approach has allowed him to glide under-the-radar for many. His tracks share this knack for understatement and lack of fanfare, his DJ sets likewise center around musicality and slow-burning emotion. His 2 year old imprint, Ethereal Sound, is an exercise not so much in restraint as in straightforward and subtle quality.

This first compilation from the imprint features deep electronic heavy-hitters Vakula and Fred P alongside newcomers Benedikt Frey and Pjotr. All four tracks are grooving house joints with plenty of atmosphere and gentle builds, recommended for fans of Sistrum, Tetrode, and Aesthetic Audio.

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Phonocast 04 – Shannon Harris

Fresh off of his recent sophomore album, Audio Urbanology: The Art OF Audio Truism, Urbanicity head Shannon Harris came through to the shop for a polished melange of new and old, Chicago-rooted sounds for springtime. Mixed as usual on the Gramaphone turntables, this set was recorded on the evening of March 6th, 2012.

Fudge Fingas “Mass X” gets reworked by Vakula and Juju & Jordash

First off, this limited edition single is worth buying just for its packaging. A beautiful gold silk screen covered jacket, hand stamped label and printed back cover and label make for an elegant package from Firecracker Recordings.

Fortunately the music on the slab is just as creative. Vakula kicks it off with a stellar rework that drives through his sound full of creative percussion techniques and raw distorted synths. This is a big record and one that’s creativity in production and sequence is off the charts.

On the flip Juju & Jordash take things deeper with a slow chugging take that is both a lovely ambient track and some dancefloor fuel in the hands of a creative selector.

This is an excellent single. Full of music of depth and creativity that is both an excellent listen as well as tool for the dancefloor. Get it now as it is a limited edition!

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Nicholas delivers [again!] with Love Message on Home Taping Is Killing Music

Nicholas.

Again.

Home Taping Is Killing Music.

This is a no brainer.

 

 

 

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Aaron “Fit” Siegel’s “Tonight” Featuring L’Renee courtesy of Omar S

Omar S is a man of impeccable taste and a high level of creativity. Lately a lot of his effort seems to be dedicated to curating new artists and projects, especially fellow Detroiters. His label FXHE always delivers a raw, underground aesthetic and this deep vocal house cut doesn’t stray from the formula.

On this single for “Tonight” from fellow Detroiter Aaron Siegel the “Original Mix” features a beautiful Rhodes line and the longing vocals of L’Renee over a seriously Detroit bass line. This is one of those tracks that could be on the radio, if todays radio didn’t suck.

The “Detroit Mix” picks up the energy and by changing around some sounds, Rhodes into Piano for example, turns back the clock and delivers an almost gospel house version complete with raspy distorted synth sax sound. This is the cut for me.

Omar S is a personal favorite and not only can produce the hell out of some music, he picks his FXHE brethren well. This single is a prime example of that.

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Shannon Harris in-store set at Gramaphone today

Shannon Harris, Urbanicity proprietor and recording artist, will be stopping by around 6:30pm tonight to share some music in the shop. This will be Phonocast 04.

V/A comp on Assembly Records feat. Manuel Regnet, King & Vilante and Sean Roman

This limited edition various artist sampler from Assembly Records kicks off with “Joy” by Manuel Regnet. This track will definitely catch the ears of those into the Freerange sound with its light feel and slightly anthemic moments.

On the flip, King & Vilante deliver some serious 90’s vibes in “You Want It” complete with the driving bass line and chorded synth line combo a la “Show Me Love” by Robin S. This one has a big break down with a slightly progressive feel, so if that’s not for you listen to this one all the way through first. The last track is “Sinnamon” by Sean Roman and its the real standout here. Built around a nice disco era sample, this one’s loose feel and smaller sound sets it apart from its more big room oriented friends on this release and is worth the price of admission.

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2843 N. Clark St.
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Deymare’s appropriately titled 1990 EP on Local Talk

This EP’s title, 1990, says it all. This is 4 tracks of deliciously old-school sounding house from Thomas Bjorkman aka Deymare.

The A starts off with the lovely deep piano house of “1990” and moves into the stomping house sound of “Time To Work.” Equipped with some raw 909 sounds and lush keys this one is a guaranteed floor mover that dissolves into a bit of madness towards the end.

On the flip “Keep On Movin” slips into a deeper house groove featuring some classing sounding chords and phrasing. “The Beat Is Back” punches it up a with some trippy synth lines and distorted drums plus a nice sample with mentions of Chicago and The Warehouse.

I wouldn’t be too quick to call this one a throwback record as it features more modern takes on these more classic sounds. Its more of an homage, and a nice one at that.

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Jackson Lee and Ben Jenkens split on Blank Artists

This split EP kicks off with Jackson Lee (one half of Agents Of Woe) revisiting some classic techno sounds and structures with “No Mind.” This one would not sound out of place on a mid 1990’s Hybrid Records release and definitely takes me back to the days of sound bouncing off the cement walls of The Packard Plant. Real techno shit here. The second track by Lee is the slow grinding “Emerson” that is a dubby trip into the outer reaches.

On the B, Ben Jenkins takes over with some Rob Hood inspired techno in “Discrete Method.” However, its the last track that really delivers in the dub techno sound of “Banach Space.”

This is a really nice EP on Detroit label Blank Artists that pays tribute to the city’s sounds   and the techno artists that have laid the framework.

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Soul System brings you Lost Tapes 1 on Wax Classic

Nicholas. The house producer who seems to be able to do no wrong. After a series of great edits and remixes on NuGroove here come some more killer vocal laden tracks under the name Soul System on Wax Classic.

Every track on this EP is a standout in its own way. With great 808 and 909 sounds, clever percussion programming, great structure and a really keen sense of space, Nicholas continues to prove that he has a serious grasp on house music. These sound like classic house tracks, and from the hands of this young italian producer they probably will become just that.

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Francis Harris’ Pharoah In The Morning Remixes on Scissor & Thread

Francis Harris (aka Adultnapper) is no stranger to the varying sounds of electronic music. From his punk rock upbringing he has brought with him a knack for breaking rules and doing just what his heart desires.

On this single, featuring remixes of the track “Pharoah In The Morning” from Harris’ forthcoming LP, both NSI. and Black Light Smoke deliver incredibly deep and emotional takes on the original. NSI. kicks things off with a blissfully dubbed-out rework that is otherworldly yet completely accessible. On the flip Jordan Lieb (Black Light Smoke) gives you two understated revisions with some excellent layering and low end work that will shake the walls and your soul.

This is an unbelievable artful release and will please both the chin scratching listeners and the after hours come-down dance crowd. Take a listen, you’ll like what you hear.

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Rrose – Artificial Light (1969-1909) 12″ – Sandwell District

Hazy, worn, barren elements of techno are put together here on Rrose’s 4th release for Sandwell District. Monochromatic, polyrhythmic, obscured and heavily delay-laden techno that will appeal to fans of Sandwell’s minimalist aesthetic, drawing faint lines to Raster-Noton’s broken beat aesthetic and Sahko or Sleeparchive’s sonar sine-tone textures. And as with the aforementioned points of reference, there is plenty of nuance and an aim leaning more towards the abstract than the dancefloor.

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Jeff Mills – Taken 12″ – Axis

While completely mysterious in its presentation, Axis attributes this new release to The Wizard, placing it either as the latest in his Something In The Sky series, or as the continuation beyond that project.

The work here is unmistakably in the minimal, psychadelic, alien form of techno pioneered by Mills. The tracks are heady and dense with swarming stacatto notes more in line with Wolfgang Voigt‘s recent experimentation than with Detroit’s melodic heritage of Underground Resistance and Transmat. While these productions seem content to carve their own niche, they also work well in the context of contemporary techno, while persevering in a signature purist character.

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Searle – Mind Transfer 12″ – Mowar

First release from this new project on Franco Cangelli‘s Mowar imprint keeps it dark and rough on this one. The A-side title cut plays some dry sounding drum machines against a spacious acid line in a suspense-building dark acid techno track. Claro Intelecto slows it down several turns and chops out some of the source recording’s harmony, re-purposing it as nodding, dubby stabs, gradually winding it up into a slow stomp. The other two original tracks on the flip rev back up to 130 BPM territory, with material that would feel at home with Jeff Mills or Surgeon: industrial, syncopated, meticulously developed techno with plenty of space and variation. Taken together, this is yet another strong release from the imprint.

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V/A Comp Series to Celebrate the Anniversary of Dekmantel pt. 2

Netherland’s Dekmantel label has released music from artists like Juju & Jordash, Vakula, Vedomir and more over its nearly 3 years in existence. To celebrate their anniversary they’ve put together a couple of various artists EP’s with this being the second.

This one features some tracks that definitely have that Detroit House lean to them. Kicking off with the beatdown sound of Awanto 3’s “Pregnant” and moving into the driving disco sound of Makam’s “Good To You.” The EP then closes out with Lone’s signature spacey sound accentuated with his raw 909 and 808 sounds that would sound right at home on an old Derrick May recording.

This EP is definitely a nice way to celebrate an anniversary for Dekmantel; showing both where the label has been and where it will be going.

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2843 N. Clark St.
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Echospace [Detroit] releases a serious comp in “Altering Illusions”

I’m not even going to attempt to review this one.

If you know techno you will want this. 13 tracks from Deepchord, Variant, cv313 and Echospace all in one package. Dubbed out techno-bliss made with analogue machines and loving care. Just get it; you’ll be better for it.

 

 

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Phonocast 03 – DJ Lgcc

WNUR resident; Tundra Dubs, tonAtom and Kimochi Sound recording artist; photographer; painter; DJ Lgcc is a man of many hats. Presented here is a set recorded by him at Gramaphone on February 2nd, 2012, including some original material under his Dreamlogicc guise. DJ Lgcc plays on the radio Saturday evenings, and has a residency at the Tonally night at Swig in Wicker Park, all detailed at his website.

FCL “More Vocals For Everyone EP” on We Play House

One of my favorite conversations to have with Gramaphone owner Michael Serafini is about the lack of good vocals in house music today and the take over of the “song” by the “track.” It seems we aren’t the only ones reminiscing and lamenting the loss of the vocal given this EP’s title of “More Vocals For Everyone.”

However, that title is really just a bit of a tease as only one track on this release has vocals. That track is the opener titled “Used To Be” and in all honesty it is a bit more of an Indie Dance track than a House track. But as an Indie Dance track it is quite good with nice movement and a nice female vocal. The real standout on this one is a remix by one of my favorites, the German duo Arto Mwambe. For the last track on the EP they rework FCL’s “Back” into a nice deep groove accented by a well-placed flute solo and some dubbed out keys.

While a bit disappointing on the vocal front, there is quite a bit of good music here for House and Indie kids alike.

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Geoffrey Oryema – “Kei Kweyo” (Joaquin “Joe” Claussell Remix)

There are times when two ingredients cultivated in two distinct parts of this world decisively come together to create something extraordinary. I’m referring to the genius of exiled Ugandan vocalist/musician Geffrey Oryema and prolific producer of the organic sound of the underground and 1/3rd the dynamic DJ trio of the now historic Body & Soul gatherings, New York resident Joe Claussell.

The result is a 12inch package entitled “Kei Kweyo” by Geoffrey Oryema currently out on Joe Claussell’s imprint Sacred Rhythm and Cosmic Arts Inc. that comes equipped with two mixes, The Afrikan Outlaw Demo and The Outlaw Demo Dub.

With the masterfully exaggerated key work of Sir Bennett Paster, Joe Claussell brilliantly creates a landscape of sharp effected percussion and manipulated overdubs dressed by the strength of guitar that breaks and builds with erratic energy and settles handily around tender yet imposing chants and Geoffrey’s spiritually nuanced vocals. Chants and vocals that persuasively captures the unforgotten native language of his past.

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Review by Oscar McMillan

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2843 N. Clark St.
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DJ Steaw “Stay In My Head EP” on Qalomota

This is a really nice record on Qalomota. Its house the way it should be; fun, funky and emotive. Frenchman DJ Steaw really gets it right for the French label with a really nice blend of classic dance ideals with an updated sound.

All four of the tracks on this EP have their own unique ways of hooking you. Its the bassline and vocal of “Stay In My Head”, the lush synths on “Get It Up”, the jacking groove of “Urban Illusion” and the off-kilter soul of “Da Fingerz” that prove this one to be a feel good record of dance floor fuel.

Many people are currently trying to capture the feeling of the 90’s house and techno sounds but few are really finding it. DJ Steaw seems to have caught a bit of the magic on this one.

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2843 N. Clark St.
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